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Career Sphere

Nephrology nurses: Passionate about their specialty

nephrology kidney specialty

“What I find most exciting and interesting about the specialty is that we are truly dealing with every organ system,” says Anne Harty, MS, FNP, BC, CNN, Carmichael, Calif.
“Nephrology nurses save lives every day. That says it all,” says Caroline Counts, MSN, RN, CNN, Charleston, S.C. If you want to meet someone who’s excited about her career choice, talk to a nephrology nurse. You’re likely to hear a passionate description of deep relationships forged with colleagues, patients, and families—and more than likely, a tribute to a job filled with challenges and rewards.
“Each nursing specialty is unique,” says Sue Cary, MN, APRN, NP, CNN, president of the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA), an ANA organizational affiliate. “But in my opinion, nephrology nurses love this specialty because they often care for dialysis patients for long periods. They know their patients and families. This translates to a strong commitment to providing the best care.”
About the specialty Nephrology nurses practice in inpatient, outpatient, and home settings—in a broad range of roles that includes staff nurses, transplant coordinators, nurse practitioners, managers, researchers, and educators. They care for patients of all ages who have acute or chronic renal failure or are at risk for renal disease. Cases may be extremely complex, as many patients also suffer from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, or drug addiction. Some have psychosocial issues as well.
Today, about 20 million Americans have renal disease. Of these, more than 400,000 experience renal failure. As the numbers continue to rise, the ranks of nephrology nurses will continue to grow.
Support from ANNA
ANNA provides education, research, and advocacy to nephrology nurses. One of the larger specialty nursing associations in the country, it has more than 12,000 members. ANNA gathers the country’s most prestigious educators to teach at its conferences and offers a wide array of publications, educational resources, and networking opportunities for members. To learn more, visit www.annanurse.org.

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